The Barber of San Marcos: A Lesson Learned on Jealousy, Sexual Assault, Strangulation, & Waterboarding
Allyson Cordoni, Brian Erskine, Janie Duke Mott
This case study will review a sexual assault of a 34-year-old former U.S. Army soldier who was not only sexually assaulted in her own home but subjected to strangulation and waterboarding. This presentation will discuss the intense jealousy that the perpetrator exhibited towards the victim that lead him to beat, sexually assault, strangle, and waterboard her. Waterboarding is a term often used in conjunction with terrorist inmates, but this case will show how waterboarding in conjunction with strangulation was used to torture the victim. While this case resulted in a conviction, there were several areas of investigation/examination that served as a teaching moment for all involved.
Dirty Money: An FBI-HSI Investigation of Folk Nation/Gangsta Disciples' Human Trafficking Activities
The joint FBI-HSI 'Dirty Money' investigation provides a case study on the nexus between street gangs and human trafficking, with a discussion on how investigators can leverage social media and online activity to further cases. In the Dirty Money case, members of the Folk Nation/Gangsta Disciples street gang used force and coercion to cause women and children to prostitute for member's own personal gain. Investigators in this case used the gang member's online activity, social media presence and use of interstate commerce to investigate and ultimately successfully prosecute six confirmed gang members, one of which was employed as a Juvenile Probation Officer. This case study highlights the success of high level of interagency coordination and validates a victim-entered approach to human trafficking investigations.
Double Homicide in Brooklyn, Trial in Russia: A Collaborative Prosecution Between the United States and Russia
This case study will present the investigation of a husband who brutally murdered his wife and her adult daughter in their Brooklyn, New York apartment, then fled to his native country, Russia, before he could be apprehended in the United States. The United States and Russia do not have an extradition treaty, so prosecution in New York by the Kings County District Attorney's Office was not possible. The presentation will focus on the cooperative efforts of the Kings County District Attorney's Office, the New York City Police Department, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, the United States Department of Justice, and the Russian police department and prosecutor's office to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute the defendant in Russia. As a result of this unique collaboration, the defendant was tried in Russia and convicted of murdering both women.
Hunting the Red Bird Rapist: How Dallas Caught & Convicted a Prolific Serial Rapist Without the Help of Forensic Evidence
Leighton D'Antoni, Amy Derrick, Todd Haecker
In 2013, Waldrick Brooks was a MMA fighter, husband, father, and video game enthusiast. He was a family man with no criminal history. What no one knew was that over the course of the past three years, he had raped at least 16 young women. This case study will discuss how the Dallas Police Department used old-fashioned police work, without the help of any forensic evidence, to identify and arrest Brooks just one week after he raped his last victim. Prosecutors will focus on legal strategies used to admit evidence during the State's Case in Chief and how to win difficult sexual assault cases at trial with vulnerable survivors (prostitutes, drug addicts, and those with mental health issues).
Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence & HIV: Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Tonia Cunningham, Curtis Howard, Diane Reeve
This case study involves a Frisco, Texas man who intentionally transmitted HIV to his long-term partners and casual encounters. It provides a learning opportunity in a unique twist of IPV, as well as medical forensics in cases of HIV transmission. Extremely common yet often ignored due to numerous obstacles for both law enforcement and prosecutors, intentional HIV transmission and intimate partner violence are closely linked. Takeaways include the use of medical and community resources in obtaining evidence and unique investigative techniques. The importance of the role of medical science is described by the prosecutor and the victim advocate will highlight best practices for media interaction in high-profile cases. The importance of recognizing symptoms of PTSD and how advocates can contribute to the healing process in cases where victims have been betrayed as well as injured will be discussed.
Jacob Lee Boyd: A Study in Teen Violence
Messina Madson, Jessica Trevizo
Jacob Lee Boyd was 17 when he strangled his 16-year-old girlfriend. The classmates that were initially outraged at the time of the murder appeared at trial to minimize the defendant's behavior and blame the victim. This case study will show how social media was used to shame a young girl and pressure her to stay in a relationship she was trying to leave.
The Lisa Cutler Case: Lessons Learned from a Staged "Drowning Accident"
Nichole Kroncke, Andrea Zaferes
In 2012, Chad Cutler attempted to stage his wife's death as a "drowning accident" in their bathtub. Three years later, a jury determined Cutler had committed murder in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner; he had intentionally drowned his wife after years of domestic violence. The ability of the Illinois State Police to perform a timely homicidal drowning investigation was key to a successful prosecution. Presenters will discuss how these challenging circumstantial cases can be worked from start to finish, with key takeaways including crime scene reconstruction and the use of expert testimony and hearsay statements by a deceased victim.
Prosecuting the Boy Next Door
Kara Comte, Jessica Escue
"He seemed like such a nice guy." As many in the law enforcement community know, some of the most dangerous and violent offenders are often wolves in sheep's clothing. These defendants often have minimal criminal history, are charming, personable, and outwardly safe. As a result, investigating and prosecuting these seemingly harmless defendants often presents new and unique challenges. This case study will focus on the investigation and prosecution of two offenders in a college town, Chad McFadden and Lance Leftwich, whose innocent appearances were key in allowing them to target their victims and nearly escape punishment.
Snow Storm in Central Texas: The Brutal Rape of a Topless Dancer
Fred Harris, Sheilah Priori
It took about 20 seconds for a judge in Central Texas to sentence a rapist to 45 years in prison. In July 2012, the suspect was convicted of aggravated sexual assault for a brutal rape that left the victim with 14 injuries to her face alone. The victim's mother testified that she had to prepare herself and children for the appearance of the victim, stating, "I just couldn't believe what I was seeing… she was just so beaten, bloody and bruised.” The victim physically recovered in six weeks, but lasting psychological damage continues to linger. This case study will demonstrate how law enforcement and a medical forensic nurse worked together to obtain information that led to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
Tough Decisions: An Aggravated Malicious Wounding Case Prosecuted Against the Victim's Wishes
C.A. was thrown through a double-paned window by her boyfriend, receiving life-threatening injuries. She was cooperative with the prosecution through the preliminary hearing until her boyfriend was released on bond. At that point, she hired an attorney to inform the Commonwealth that she would be "taking the fifth" and that she and her boyfriend were soon getting married. The presenter will show how this case was successfully investigated and handled in court despite several intentions to sabotage the matter. This case study will provide an in-depth look at how to build a successful evidence-based prosecution, even in the most serious cases, when the victim becomes a witness for the defense.
US v. Macias: Manipulation & Control Tactics of a Sex Trafficker
In July 2015, a mother and daughter entered a Police Department in Florida to report their fear of a man who had allegedly sexually assaulted the daughter and trafficked both women for commercial sex. In the 10 month long investigation that followed, the FBI learned that a 35 year old Army veteran, had engaged in the sexual exploitation of numerous women around the US for over a decade. The federal investigation resulted in the indictment and arrest of the trafficker on charges related to the interstate sex trafficking of a teenage victim, and after conviction in April 2016, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. This case study will focus on the psychological tactics used by the trafficker to manipulate and control his victims, and will also provide insight into the experiences of the trafficking survivor.
Walking in Her Shoes (Part 1 & 2)
Christi Decoufle, Leah Rogers
Through this case study and survivor story, law enforcement, attorneys, clinicians, and advocates will better understand pimp culture as it applies to sex trafficking. The detective will outline a multi-state sex trafficking investigation with adult and juvenile victims. Participants will learn how the victim was coerced into prostitution; they will be shown how she was manipulated, controlled and exploited to financially benefit the trafficker and will understand the trauma inflicted and why a victim might not leave. The presenters will also discuss best practices in aftercare for service providers and investigators.